Many believe only coastal provinces experience tides.
We all expect tides in oceans or seas, but we can also find them in Ontario’s far north.
Towns and villages along James and Hudson’s Bay coastlines experience tides and can appreciate tidal effects like fishing cycles and changes in currents.
Continue reading Ontario’s tidal force
Seeing the magnificent Northern Lights is a bucket list item for any nature lover.
But did you know that the Northern Lights are caused by charged particles from the Sun?
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, is the name given to an often-ethereal band or curtain of faint light seen towards the northern horizon. Generally, the light is so faint that the light pollution of even a small town can wash it out.
However, in the dark skies of many of our provincial parks, the Northern Lights can be spectacular.
Continue reading The Northern Lights
The importance of having dark sky preserves cannot be understated.
In addition to the many benefits already described previously in our blog, you can see many things that others can’t from the light-polluted skies of our urban and, increasingly, our rural locations.
The zodiacal light and the gegenschein are two phenomena known for centuries, but only visible in dark skies with a good western or eastern horizon.
Continue reading Zodiacal light and the gegenschein
For thousands of years, humans have looked up at the stars. The stars helped them try to understand their purpose, and the role they play in our lives.
To help memorize the different stars, patterns of connect-the-dot figures were created by many different cultures. Today, we recognize 88 official patterns or “constellations” of stars.
In last month’s blog, we discussed Orion the Hunter, as well as a number of other prominent constellations seen in the winter.
This month’s post will focus on three others, most notable Gemini the Twins.
As we round out the year of constellations, we will focus on some of the fainter ones seen at this time of the year.
As they are faint, one must travel to pristine dark skies — such as those in provincial parks — to see them well.
Continue reading Featured constellations: Eridanus, Lepus and Monoceros
The beginning(s) of our universe has long stirred deep philosophical questions.
How did we get here? What causes the sun or the stars to move? If time had a beginning, what was there before that beginning?
These are all great questions, and the answers have historically been provided by spiritual as well as scientific means. Both types of answers provide a great value and continue to play a role for humanity.
Continue reading Observing the origins of the universe
What happens when two great organizations work together to promote astronomy and dark skies? An incredible experience that captivated visitors from all over Ontario and beyond.
On September 22, 2018, we launched Ontario Parks’ first Dark-Sky Preserve in Killarney Provincial Park (the other is in Lake Superior Provincial Park) with a special “Stars over Killarney” program. Joining us as co-hosts for this special event were our friends at Science North, one of Canada’s best hands-on science museums.
Continue reading Stars over Killarney 2018
In last month’s edition, we discussed Pegasus, Aquarius and the southern fish, Piscis Austrinus.
This time, we will discuss the more popular northern fish (Pisces), Aries the Ram, and Triangulum the Triangle.
Continue reading Featured constellations: a fish, a ram and a triangle
Did you know that the speeds of sound and light can provide us with a lot of useful information?
Continue reading Comparing the speeds of light and sound
We all crave the peace and quiet of a moment in the darkness, gazing up at the beauty of the night sky. But sometimes it’s hard to make out things in the pure darkness of provincial parks.
Did you know you can actually improve your ability to see in the dark? Most people do not realize there are a number of techniques you can use to improve your night vision. In this article we will explain four things you can do to see better in the dark.
We hope it will allow you to not only see more objects in the night sky, but to safely navigate your campsite at nighttime.